Trending: Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots aren't anything new, and like a lot of fashion trends they come about in full circle over time. This time around however, I'm really starting to pay attention - partly due to my maturing taste in fashion, but also thanks to my experience first hand on how boots can elevate your entire look. It's actually quite fascinating that a nice pair of footwear can influence your entire look - women have known this for ages with the multitude of shoes they've got hidden in wardrobes and under the bed, but us lads haven't quite switched on to it yet. And I'm talking about shoes beyond your yeezys or Nikes - that's street and cool, but we're talking more dressed up and sophisticated. Now I can hear some of you saying ‘what you talking about boots when its Summer?’ and yes you’re right to think that. I thought that. However, Summer does make sense and I'll give you a few reasons why, and also a view on how these boots can complete your stylised Summer look.
Let's start with the why:
Wearing suede chelsea boots in the Winter months is very practical in one way - yet very risky in another. You’ve probably gone and invested a fair bit of coin into a suave pair of boots that you want the world to see...but the potential damage that comes with wet weather just isn’t worth it and as a result you are very protective with their outings. The boots then become indoor use only. Bummer.
Summer however welcomes suede boots. They can finally be free to see the light of day and the world to watch by in awe. I live in jeans nearly all year round, so for me pairing some of my favourite ripped Rag & Bone jeans with my Common Projects chelsea boots was a no-brainer. Check it out...
Then onwards to the how:
Wearing boots is all about right place, right time. I'm not suggesting it's wise to wear boots at the beach, unless of course that's your vibe. I've seen cowboy boots being worn while strolling the beach. Good for him. This is about picking the right location, situation, and climate for the boots. Think dinner date, after work drinks, a cocktail party, a live band or hitting a cafe, going shopping, even going on Tinder date. It's activity and look appropriate. Your boots will up your style points for sure but you can't forget the rest of your 'outfit'. Is it ok to say outfit for guys? Idk but we'll just go for it eh. So yeah make sure you've got a good pair of pants, whether that's denim jeans, chino, totally up to you and a good tee or shirt.
And finally where to find:
The great news is, it's perfect timing to be purchasing your pair of Chelsea boots online due to being the Winter season over in the northern sphere from sites like End Clothing and Matches Fashion which are two I frequently shop from. One thing to remember is anything over $200 NZ can be subject to import taxes and duties which can be a real pain and add considerable cost (this happened to me and it made what was already an expensive investment more pricey). The $200 total also includes the shipping cost (annoyingly). Quite often the above sites have codes for free shipping so I'd suggest subscribing to their newsletters so you're alerted when these go live. Shit I'm helpful.
To help you navigate the chelsea boots scene I've done a good hunt, with a range of prices in mind so there should be something that works for your budget. Remember quality does come at at a price and many are suede and hand made in Itlay. It's worth the investment, trust me.
Common Projects $$$$
Common projects take out the number one spot as they really are the gold medal winner of the chelsea boots world. They're an awesome style and shape and not too narrow in the toes (which some can be) and they've got a good range of colour options to pick from. Common Projects have the unmistakable trademark of their gold numbering which are unique to each hand made pair. There's about five or six different colourways, but these are my favourite which I got a month back.
- Light-tan, suede
- Almond toe, small beige natural rubber heel
- Gold debossed serial number
- Light-tan elasticated-side panels
- Off-white grosgrain heel pull tab
- Tan-brown leather lining and insole
- Beige natural rubber sole
- Slip on
- Country of origin: Italy
Another brand I'm really fond of and you'll start to see me write more about over time is the French label A.P.C which are all about minimalist designs. I've become a bigger fan of this label since they've branched out of being extremely exclusive and opening up stores across the globe and of course supplying major online retailers. If you're wondering A.P.C stands for Atelier de Production at de Création, which for the non-French speaking of us translates to 'workshop of production and creation' which makes perfect sense. If you get some time check out their current season offering, I can honestly say nearly everything I'd happily wear. Yes yes, some of the items can be expensive, but remember you're dealing with Parisian designers, fabrics and craftsmanship. For some of the items I have my eye on, I have my fingers crossed for a sale and check back on my usual list of sites for when they do and see if the product is at discount. Call me the bargain hunter. Also for the Kiwis reading this, you can check out Made who are a local retailer in Auckland who stock heaps of A.P.C goods. Back to the boots, these are rad and are round toed up front, rather than pointy which is key- as I don't think they look as good and can start to hurt feet (I've read numerous people say this).
• Italian suede Chelsea boot in Caramel
• Round toe
• Large elastic side panel on each side
• Suede back pull tab
• Smooth leather interior
• Reinforced heel
• Microcellular plastic outsole
• Small stacked heel
• 100% Calfskin
• Made in Portugal
Oro Los Angeles $$$
A Californian label who specialise in chelsea boots, plaid shirts, salvage denim and long line tees. There's some good stuff up on their site that's definitely worth checking out. Quite often do discount code, so worth signing up. They ship internationally for flat rate of $25USD. I'm quite liking this olive colour as an option, something different from the camel look and would help keep the boots clean since they're darker in tone. Again these have the rounded toe for the relaxed fit and these Orlo designs have a taller height to them so definitely cuff your pants when wearing them. 8 colourways on offer, so plenty to chose from yeah!
- 100% Calfskin
- Blake stitching
- Made in Spain
- Twin elasticised gores
- Full-grain leather lining
- Almond toe
Ralph Lauren $$$
The man, the icon, the clothes and the rest. Ralph Lauren is a stable in my wardrobe and has been since way back in my early twenties I was working for Air New Zealand so got to travel loads to the states and pick up RL threads so cheap. Even though many of you reading this will be here in NZ, doesn't mean you can't score a good deal. Often ASOS has some going on big labels so add them to your wishlist and check in when they send out newsletters.
- Almond-toe silhouette.
- Slip-on styling.
- Padded leather insole.
- Treaded rubber outsole.
Once you've got your swell pair of Chelsea boots, make sure the first thing you do (even before you flat lay these bad boys, is spray some leather protectant over it. You can pick up just the spray or even a clever little kit to keep em clean as. $35 and $40 respectively. A good investment, so don't not do it ok - I've warned you.
Jaheb wearing // Illesteva Leonard Tortoise & Ray-Ban Sunglasses, Among Equals x Cotton On waffee and Calvin Klein 90's re-issue tees, Daniel Wellington 40mm watch, Rag & Bone Fit One denim jeans, Common Projects suede chelsea boots.